Print Friendly, PDF & Email

[Mission 2023] INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY 14 December 2022

 

InstaLinks :  help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically

 

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. How J&K’s proposed Family ID will work, and why it is being criticised

2. House panel flags ‘casual approach’ of govt. over setting up disability centres

3. Ministry evades direct reply on demand to include Ladakh under the 6th schedule

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Only one-fourth of sanctioned solar power projects took off

2. Fusion energy breakthrough by US scientists boosts clean power hopes

 

Content for Mains Enrichment

1. Sneha Jawale (Indian social worker)

2. Zahra Joya (Afghani Journalist)

3. World’s First Ban on Smoking for Next Generation

4. Bangladesh Mangrove for the Future (Case Study)

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Tripura’s Unakoti (the ‘Angkor Wat of the North-East’)

2. Banks wrote off NPAs in excess of Rs10 lakh crore in last 5 years: FM

3. Customs Act 1962 completes 60 years

4. Forabot: The Fossil sorting robot

5. The Geminids meteor shower

6. The Battle against Cancer

7. India Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2022

8. Environment Education, Awareness and Training (EEAT)

9. Restoration Barometer Report 2022

10. Mapping

 


 

How J&K’s proposed Family ID will work, and why it is being criticised?

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation

 

Source: IE

 Direction: The article highlights the new family ID for residents of J&K, its criticism, and other states with a similar mechanism.

 Context: J&K Lt Governor’s announcement to introduce a family Pehchan Patra (identity card) for residents of the UT has been criticised by the opposition parties in Kashmir as a surveillance tool.

The proposed family Pehchan Patra:

  • It will be an identity card with a unique 8-digit alphanumeric number, which will contain details of all members of the family, including their names, ages, qualifications, employment status, etc.
  • The card will be linked with the Aadhaar and bank account number of the head of the family.
  • While Aadhaar contains information about an individual, the family ID card will collate a database about families, with the consent of the family.
  • No consent is likely to attract practical difficulties because benefits such as subsidised rations will be linked with the family ID card.

The purpose of introducing the identity card:

  • To create an authentic, verified and reliable database of families in J&K that will help in policy planning.
  • To facilitate direct transfer of benefits to their bank accounts.
  • To ensure speedy and transparent doorstep delivery of welfare schemes to eligible beneficiaries.
  • To identify and weed out duplicate ration cards and Aadhaar.

Issues with the proposed family ID:

  • It symbolises the widening trust deficit especially post 2019 when the erstwhile state of J&K was bifurcated into two UTs.
  • Unproductive use of resources.
  • The protection of personal data is a major challenge.

Government’s response to this criticism:

  • An information security policy and an appropriate cyber security framework are under planning.
  • Minimum human interference will result in better utilisation of resources.
  • Better delivery of services will strengthen trust between the government and the people.

 Similar databases in other states:

  • Haryana was the first state to introduce the concept of the family Pehchan Patra, and Punjab introduced it last year.
  • UP Parivar Kalyan Card, Rajasthan’s Jan Aadhaar and MP’s Samagra ID are other examples.

 

 

Insta Links:

This is what has changed in Jammu and Kashmir

 

Mains Links:

Q. Trace the changed security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and discuss the road ahead post the recent landmark political changes. (250 words)

House panel flags ‘casual approach’ of govt. over setting up disability centres

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of the population by the Centre and States and the Performance of these Schemes

 

Source: TH

 Direction: The article discusses District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (DDRC) and shortcomings on part of the govt to establish such centres.

 Context: According to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment, the Union Government looks somewhat casual in its approach to establishing the District Disability Rehabilitation Centres (DDRC)

Background:

  • The revised DDRC scheme requires the establishment of 269 DDRCs, although only 55-60 DDRCs have been made operational in selected districts yet.
  • The 2011 census estimated (based on questions on 7 kinds of disabilities) that the number of PwDs in India is close to 2.68 crores (2.2% of the population) – that is more than the entire population of Australia.

Establishment of DDRCs:

  • Background:
    • During 1985-1990, District Resource Centres (DRCs) started as an outreach activity of the National Institutes/ALIMCO under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
    • These centres provided comprehensive services to persons with disabilities (PwDs) at the grass root level and facilitated capacity building at the district level.
    • From the year 1999-2000, the DDRCs was established with active support from the State Governments, with the District Management Team headed by Collector acting as the convergence point.
    • DDRCs are funded under the Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) from 2020-21 under which grants are released to State Governments and other bodies to support various activities for the welfare of the disabled.
  • Objectives of setting up DDRCs: To provide rehabilitative support to PwDs through awareness generation, early intervention, counselling, etc.
  • Number of DDRCs: All the districts, including left-wing extremism-affected districts, have been approved for setting up of DDRCs. Each DDRC must provide rehabilitation services to PwDs of the adjoining/neighbouring district if it does not have a DDRC.

  

Other findings of the panel:

  • The government is yet to set up dedicated sports training facilities for Divyangjans. Out of 5 such facilities promised in 2014-15, only 1 has been approved so far at Gwalior.
  • In 2021-22, only 16,000 students were paid pre-matric scholarships against 25,000 slots for PWDs.

 

Government’s reply to the panel’s findings:

  • 269 DDRCs (those given funds at least once) have been set up across the country.
  • To upscale their services, a MODEL DDRC has been conceptualised by the Department of Empowerment of PwD.
  • There is an increase in the number of disabilities covered from 7 to 21 in 2018 as provided under the Rights of PwDs Act, 2016
  • The revised guidelines for setting up the rest of the DDRCs would be implemented in 2022-23
  • These centres are to be located near district hospitals and intervention centres

 

Way ahead: The government should lay down a proper roadmap with timelines for the establishment of the DDRCs in every targeted district.

Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation (ALIMCO):

●        It is a Central Public Sector unit, working under the aegis of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India.

●        Incorporated in 1972, ALIMCO has been engaged in the manufacture and supply/distribution of Assistive Devices for PwDs.

 

Insta Links:

Health inequities to be blamed for premature deaths among people with disabilities: WHO

 

Mains Links:

Q. There have been various efforts towards securing a life of dignity for persons with disabilities (PwD). However, to be able to realise the goal of inclusiveness, it is imperative to involve persons with disabilities as equal partners in their development and decision-making. Comment. (250 words)

Ministry evades direct reply on demand to include Ladakh under the 6th schedule

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure

 

Source: TH

 Direction: The article covers the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution and examines the case of UT of Ladakh to be included under the Schedule

  

Context:

  • The main objective of the inclusion of tribal populations under the 6th schedule of the Constitution is to ensure their overall socio-economic development, which the Ladakh UT administration has already been taking care of.
  • This is what the Union Home Ministry has informed a Parliamentary panel, evading a direct reply on the possible inclusion of Ladakh under the 6th Schedule.

 

Background:

  • On August 5, 2019, the former State of J&K was bifurcated into two Union Territories (UTs) – J&K and Ladakh, the latter without a Legislative Assembly.
  • After its special status was removed, several political groups (the apex body for Leh) in Ladakh have been demanding that its land, employment, and cultural identity should be protected under the 6th Schedule.
  • In 2021, only MP from Ladakh demanded constitutional safeguards by amending the Ladakh Autonomous Hill District Council (LAHDC) Act under the 6th Schedule.

 

About the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution:

  • The Schedule protects tribal populations, providing autonomy to communities through the creation of Autonomous District Councils (ADCs), which can frame laws on land, public health and agriculture.
  • According to Article 244 of the Indian Constitution, the Sixth Schedule consists of provisions for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
  • As of now, 10 autonomous councils exist in the above 4 states. Along with ADCs, the 6th Schedule also provides for separate Regional Councils for each area constituted as an autonomous region.

 

About Autonomous District Councils (ADC):

  • Composition: Each autonomous district and regional council (term – 5 years) consists of not more than 30 members, of which four are nominated by the governor and the rest via elections.
  • Powers:
    • Authorised to enact legislation on topics such as land, forestry, fisheries, social security, entertainment, public health, etc., with due approval from the Governor.
    • The ADCs can constitute village courts within their jurisdiction to hear trials of cases involving the tribes.
  • Role of:
    • Governors of states: They specify the jurisdiction of High Courts and are empowered to organise or reorganise boundaries of the tribal areas and alter or change the names of autonomous regions without separate legislation.
    • The central and state governments: are restricted from the territorial jurisdiction of these autonomous regions.
      • For example, Acts passed by Parliament and state legislatures may or may not be applied in these regions. In the case of Assam, the direction of the Governor, both in respect of acts of Parliament or state legislature is required to be applicable. In the case of Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, the direction of the president with respect to acts of Parliament and the governor in respect of acts of the state legislature is required.

 

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs report:

  • According to the 2011 Census, the tribal population in the UT of Ladakh is 2,18,355, which is ~80% of the total population.
  • Special status may be granted (under the 5th/6th Schedule) to the UT considering the developmental requirements of the tribal population.

 

Union government’s response:

  • Sufficient funds are being provided to Ladakh to meet its overall developmental requirements.
  • The Ladakh administration recently increased the reservation for STs in direct recruitment from 10% to 45%.

 

Insta Links:

6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution

 

Mains Links:

Q. “Sixth schedule of the Indian constitution has been successful in protecting the tribal culture and inclusivity”. Analyse. (250 words)

Only one-fourth of sanctioned solar power projects took off

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.

 

Source: The Hindu

 Context: According to the figures revealed by the Minister for New and Renewable Energy- only a fourth of the total sanctioned solar projects with a capacity of nearly 39,000 MW have been commissioned so far

  

Factors ailing the solar energy sector:

  • Policy Constraints:
  • Restrictions and/or ambiguity on provisions.
  • Varying and ineffective regulations on net metering
  • Infrastructural Constraints:
  • Land constraints: e.g., high land prices, land ceiling limits, and complex land acquisition processes.
  • Insufficient transmission facility: as the renewable source of energy generation is usually located in far-flung areas, insufficient transmission facility is also a major constraint.
  • Storage issues
    • Solar energy is not consistent and continuously dependent on the weather
  • Financial Constraints:
  • Unsustainable pricing
  • Import Dependency:
  • When it comes to solar modules, batteries for power storage and manufacturing other renewable energy systems, India is highly dependent on the import of these equipment
  • Environmental issues
    • The habitat of the Great Indian Bustard — a critically endangered species— has been encroached upon by solar power projects, particularly by transmission lines that endanger the bird.

  

Short-term and long-term measures:

 Short Term:

  • A uniform policy framework must be formulated, to apply to all states in the union for at least the next five years.
  • Unrestricted access to net metering is vital to help the growth of rooftop solar, especially in the MSME segment.
  • Augment Inflow of Low-cost Finance:
    • Explore novel means to attract more streams of concessional finance such as Mainstreaming of green bonds.

 

Long Term:

  • Stricter renewable purchase obligation (RPO)Enforcement:
    • Pan-India implementation of renewable purchase obligation (RPO) for utilities and large consumers and strict penalties for non-fulfilment of RPOs.
  • Introducing Plans to Improve Financial Health of Discoms.
  • Reducing Cross-Subsidy Surcharge (CSS):
    • Commercial and industrial consumers are currently levied an additional CSS, leading to higher-than-average electricity tariffs.
  • Introducing Capital Subsidy for Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).

 

India’s targets:

India has an ambitious target of installing 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power by 2022, which includes 100 GW from solar energy alone. (Also, a total renewable target of 500 GW by 2030).

 

Insta Links:

Solar Energy

Mains Link:

Q. Explain the purpose of the Green Grid Initiative launched at the World Leaders Summit of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November 2021. When was this idea first floated in the International Solar Alliance (ISA)? (UPSC 2021)

 

Prelims Link: UPSC 2022

Q1. Consider the following statements:
1. Gujarat has the largest solar park in India.
2. Kerala has a fully solar-powered International Airport.
3. Goa has the largest floating solar photovoltaic project in India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2 only
(c) land 3
(d) 3 only

Fusion energy breakthrough by US scientists boosts clean power hopes

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, Nano-technology, biotechnology, and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

 

Source: Financial Times, The Hindu

 Direction: Nuclear Fusion technology is quite important for both prelims and mains. Go through the article to understand the difference between fission and fusion technology.

 Context: US government scientists have made a breakthrough in the pursuit of limitless, zero-carbon power by achieving a net energy gain in a fusion reaction for the first time.

  

About Nuclear Fusion:

  • Nuclear fusion is the process by which two light atomic nuclei combine to form a single heavier one while releasing massive amounts of energy.
  • It is the opposite of nuclear fission, where heavy atoms are split apart
  • Nuclear fusion is described as the “holy grail” of energy production. It is the process that powers the Sun and other stars
  • Fusion reactions take place in a state of matter called plasma — a hot, charged gas made of positive ions and free-moving electrons with unique properties distinct from solids, liquids, or gases.

 

Why is nuclear fusion so important?

  • Nuclear fission reactors used currently produce a lot of radioactive waste, which can be dangerous and must be stored safely – potentially for hundreds of years whereas the waste produced by nuclear fusion is less radioactive and decays much more quickly
  • Nuclear fusion doesn’t need fossil fuels like oil or gas
  • It also doesn’t generate greenhouse gases
  • Most fusion experiments use hydrogen, which can be extracted cheaply from seawater and lithium, i.e., fuel supplies could last for millions of years
  • Fusion could generate four times more energy per kilogram of fuel than fission (used in nuclear power plants) and nearly four million times more energy than burning oil or coal

 

 

The US Experiment on Nuclear Fusion:

 

 

Challenges with Nuclear Fusion:

  • It has been particularly difficult to obtain high enough plasma densities, temperatures, and energy confinement times simultaneously for a reactor to approach ignition conditions.
  • Forcing and keeping the elements together in fusion requires very high temperatures and pressures.

 

Evolution of Nuclear Fusion Study:

  • The IAEA has been at the core of international fusion research. The IAEA launched the Nuclear Fusion journal in 1960 to exchange information about advances in nuclear fusion, and it is now considered the leading periodical in the field.
  • The world’s largest international fusion facility, ITER was established in 2007 in France, to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy production.

 

Insta Links:

 

Mains Link:

Q. With growing energy needs, should India keep on expanding its nuclear energy programme? Discuss the facts and fears associated with nuclear energy. (UPSC- 2018)

 

Prelims Link: (UPSC – 2020)

Q2. In India, why are some nuclear reactors kept under “IAEA Safeguards” while others are not?

(a) Some use uranium and others use thorium

(b) Some use imported uranium and others use domestic supplies

(c) Some are operated by foreign enterprises and others are operated by domestic enterprises

(d) Some are State-owned and others are privately-owned

Content for Mains Enrichment


Direction: The examples and case study can be used in Ethics/Environment / Essays Women-related issues. You can further summarize your content to fit into the demand of the questions.

Sneha Jawale (Indian social worker)

When her parents couldn’t fulfil a demand for more dowry in December 2000, Sneha Jawale’s husband set her on fire with kerosene. After her husband left with their son, she became determined to rebuild her life, as a tarot card reader and scriptwriter – jobs where people didn’t have to see her face.

Jawale, now a social worker, was asked to star in a theatre play, Nirbhaya, named after the 2012 Delhi gang-rape victim and based on the experiences of survivors of violence. Performing to audiences around the world helped her overcome her fears.

“I don’t consider myself any less than a Miss World or Miss Universe. I say I am beautiful, so I am”.– Sneha Jawal

Zahra Joya (Afghani Journalist) 

For six years under Taliban rule, Zahra Joya became ‘Mohammad’ and dressed as a boy to attend school. When US-led forces toppled the Taliban in 2001 she returned to school as Zahra. She started working as a journalist in 2011 and was often the only female reporter in the newsroom.

She is the founder of Rukhshana Media, an online news agency (working from exile in the UK) focused on covering issues that affect women of Afghanistan, named after a 19-year-old who was stoned to death by the Taliban. She won the Gates Foundation’s 2022 Changemaker Award

“I believe in the soft power of words and we must speak about injustices against women”. -Zahra Joya

World’s First Ban on Smoking for Next Generation

New Zealand passed into law a unique plan to phase out tobacco smoking by imposing a lifetime ban on young people buying cigarettes to anybody born on or after Jan. 1, 2009, apart from regulating the number of stores selling it and the amount of nicotine in the cigarette

  • It means the minimum age for buying cigarettes will keep going up and up.

 

Benefits:

  • Help meet the stated goal of making New Zealand smoke-free by 2025
  • Help save on health costs due to smoking

 

Issues with the law:

  • Many small corner stores, known in New Zealand as dairies, would go out of business
  • The gradual ban amounted to “nanny-state prohibition” that would end up creating a large black market
  • Many times prohibition doesn’t work and ends up with unintended consequences.
  • The law does not affect vaping, which has already become more popular than smoking in New Zealand

(Image source: Alamy.com)

 

Bangladesh Mangrove for the Future (Case Study):

In 2017, Bangladesh committed to restoring 0.75 million hectares under the Bonn Challenge. To monitor the implementation, the Mangroves for the Future (MFF) platform – a collaboration between IUCN and UNDP – is used in Bangladesh.

To date, MFF has supported the rehabilitation of 125 hectares of mangroves through its small and medium grants, which support initiatives that provide practical, hands-on demonstrations of effective coastal management in action. This has helped provide shelter from storms for nearby villages, as well as habitat and nursery functions for fish and birds.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Tripura’s Unakoti (the ‘Angkor Wat of the North-East’)

Source: Indian Express

Context: Tripura’s Unakoti, the ‘Angkor Wat of the North-East’ is seeking a UNESCO world heritage tag

 

Banks wrote off NPAs in excess of Rs10 lakh crore in last 5 years: FM

 Source: The Hindu

Context: Banks have written off bad loans worth Rs 10, 09, 511 crores in the last 5 fiscal years as told by the Finance minister in the parliament.

What are NPA/ Bad loans?

A non-performing asset (NPA) is a loan or advance for which the principal or interest payment remained overdue for a period of 90 days.

How are they described?

Banks are required to classify NPAs further into Substandard, Doubtful and Loss assets

1. Substandard assets: Assets which have remained NPA for a period less than or equal to 12 months.

2. Doubtful assetsAn asset would be classified as doubtful if it has remained in the substandard category for a period of 12 months.

3. Loss assetsAs per RBI, “Loss asset is considered uncollectible and of such little value that its continuance as a bankable asset is not warranted, although there may be some salvage or recovery value.”

Writing off of Bad loans/NPA?

  • Writing off a loan essentially means it will no longer be counted as an asset.
  • By writing off loans, a bank can reduce the level of non-performing assets (NPAs) on its books.
  • An additional benefit is that the amount so written off reduces the bank’s tax liability.

Why do banks write off?

  • After the write-off, the lender moves the defaulted loan, or NPA, out of the assets side and reports the amount as a loss.
  • After the write-off, banks are supposed to continue their efforts to recover the loan using various options.
  • They have to make provisioning as well.
  • The tax liability will also come down as the written-off amount is reduced from the profit.
  • The chances of recovery from written-off loans are very high as shown by an RTI reply.

 

Customs Act 1962 completes 60 years

Source: PIB

Context: CBIC celebrates the completion of 60 years of the Customs act 1962.

Customs Act 1962:

Was enacted with the following objectives:

  1. To restrict the imports for conserving foreign exchange.
  2. To protect the imports and exports of goods for achieving the policy objectives of the Government.
  3. To regulate export.
  4. Coordinating legal provisions with other laws dealing with foreign exchange such as the Foreign Trade Act and the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act.
  5. To safeguard domestic trade
  6. To protect the industries in India from unfair competition
  7. To prevent the smuggling of goods and activities related to the same.
  8. To prevent the dumping of goods.

 Mascot Officer Hans released:

  • This mascot (Officer Hans) is the majestic blue Swan which symbolizes purity and knowledge of Customs.
  • The ability of the bird to extract milk from a mixture of milk and water represents the ability of Customs to differentiate between good and evil and to identify and prevent illicit activities of smuggling, narcotics, duty evasion etc.

 

Forabot: The Fossil sorting robot

Source: Down to Earth

Context: This new technology can automate sorting, manipulating and identifying microscopic marine fossils.

Significance:

  • Foraminifera (forams) are very simple microorganisms that secrete a tiny shell.
  • They have existed on the ocean floor for more than 100 million years.
  • They leave behind their shells when they die.
  • Examining these shells gives scientists an insight into the characteristics of the oceans from a time when the forams were alive.
  • Different types of foram species thrive in the ocean environment and physical inspection and sorting of forams require human time and effort.
  • With an accuracy rate of 67%, Forabot automates this tedious process.

 

The Geminids meteor shower

 Source: Indian Express

Context: The easiest-to-view meteor shower – Geminids will peak around the 13th and 14th of December.

What are meteor showers?

  • It is a celestial event in which a number of meteors are observed to radiate or originate, from one point in the night sky.
  • Meteors are usually fragments of comets. As they enter the Earth’s atmosphere at high speed, they burn up, creating a spectacular “shower

The uniqueness of Geminids Shower:

  • The Geminids can produce approximately 100-150 meteors per hour for viewing (in clear weather and new moon).
  • Unlike most meteor showers, they originate not from a comet, but from an asteroid, the 3200 Phaethon.
  • The 3200 Phaethon was discovered on October 11, 1983. It is named after the Greek mythology character Phaethon.
  • As the 3200 Phaethon moves close to the Sun while orbiting it, the rocks on its surface heat up and break off.
  • When the Earth passes through the trail of this debris, the Geminids are caused.

Why are they called Geminids?

  • They are named after the constellation Gemini, from whose location in the sky meteor shower appears to originate.

 

The Battle against Cancer

 Source: Reuters, Indian Express, PIB

Context: Base editing technology has been used to clear the cancer of a teenager, Alyssa. Also, the government of India plans to roll out cervical cancer vaccines to girls aged 9 to 14 years of age

 

Terms associated with cancer treatment

  • CAR -T Therapy: An individual’s own T-cells are removed, which are then modified and reintroduced to the individual. The problem with such an approach (besides the expense) is that very often when an individual is really sick, it is simply impossible to obtain enough healthy T-cells to create CAR-T cells.

 

  • Base Editing: Just as letters in the alphabet spell out words that carry meaning, the billions of bases in the DNA spell out the instruction manual for the body. Base editing is used to create a new type of T- cell from a healthy donor that would not attack other cells, not kill each other, survive chemotherapy, and finally hunt down all other cancerous cells.

 

Three different Related News:

Cervical cancer vaccine rollout:

  • India accounts for over a fifth of the global burden of cervical cancer.
  • The indigenously developed quadrivalent vaccine called Cervavac, developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII), offers protection against four strains of HPV — 16, 18, 6, and 11.
  • It is expected to be available by March 2023
  • Sikkim has rolled out a programme vaccinating nearly 97% of all girls aged between 9 to 14 years in a campaign mode. It is provided as a part of routine immunisation.
  • Delhi government has also rolled out an HPV immunisation

 

Moderna, Merck see positive results from cancer vaccine:

  • An experimental cancer vaccine from Moderna Inc (MRNA.O)based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology has been shown to work against melanoma.
  • A combination of Moderna’s personalized cancer vaccine and Merck & Co’s (MRK.N) blockbuster immunotherapy Keytruda cut the risk of recurrence or death of the deadliest skin cancer by 44% compared with Keytruda alone.
  • To build the vaccine, researchers took samples of patients’ tumours and healthy tissue.
  • After analyzing the samples to decode their genetic sequence and isolate mutant proteins associated only with cancer, that information was used to design a tailor-made cancer vaccine.
  • When injected into a patient, the patient’s cells act as a manufacturing plant, producing perfect copies of the mutations for the immune system to recognize and destroy cancerous cells

 

Carboplatin drug against breast cancer:

  • The results of the study by the Tata Memorial Centre show that a commonly available and inexpensive drug, carboplatin, increased the cure rate and survival of a very aggressive type of breast cancer, called triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), especially among young women.
  • Carboplatin-based chemotherapy was well tolerated without a high rate of toxicity.
  • Carboplatin is the drug used to treat different types of cancer

 

India Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2022

Source: Live Mint

Context: India Internet Governance Forum 2022 concludes.

 India’s status:

  • The government has said that 5G and the largest rural broadband connectivity project at BharatNet will constitute the single largest presence of the global internet
  • India is the largest connected nation in the world with more than 800 million broadband users
  • Regulatory framework: Global Standard Cyber Law Framework is expected to catalyze the Indian internet and the economy

 

About Internet Governance: Internet governance consists of a system of laws, rules, policies and practices that dictate how its board members manage and oversee the affairs of any internet-related-regulatory body.

 

 About India IGF: India IGF is an initiative associated with UN Internet Governance Forum for policy discussion. India hosted it for 1st time last year (2021).

 

About Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

IGF is led by the United Nations (UN) and is a multi-stakeholder forum which promotes conversation about policy and the issues related to Internet governance. It was announced in 2006 by UN Secretary-General.

 

 

Environment Education, Awareness and Training (EEAT)

Source: PIB

Context: It is a Central Sector scheme implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change with the objective, to promote environmental awareness and mobilize students’ participation in environment conservation.

 

Features of the programme:

Grants-in-aid for:

  • National Green Corps (NGC) Programme– formation of more than 1 lakh eco-clubs
  • National Nature Camping Programme (NNCP)- for field visits/ nature camps in protected areas

 

Restoration Barometer Report 2022

Source: IUCN

Context: Released by IUCN, this report has highlighted the use of the ‘ Restoration Barometer tool’ as the  only tool currently used by governments to track progress on the implementation of restoration targets

  • The tool was 1st launched in 2016 as the Bonn Challenge Barometer

  

About the report:

  • Restoration Barometer Report 2022 has highlighted that the investments of $26bn across 18 countries have brought 14 million hectares of degraded landscapes – an area about the size of Greece – under restoration.

 About Restoration: Ecological restoration aims to recreate, initiate, or accelerate the recovery of an ecosystem that has been disturbed

About Bonn Challenge: The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to restore 150 million hectares of the world’s degraded and deforested lands by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030

About IUCN: IUCN is a membership union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. Created in 1948 and headquartered in Switzerland, it is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.

 

 

Mapping:

 

 

 

Answers to the PYQs:

Answer 1 – B

Answer 2: B

Explanations:

The correct answer is Some use imported uranium and others use domestic supplies. IAEA safeguards are a set of technical safeguards applied by the IAEA to independently verify any nuclear facilities to check if it is not misused or deviated from peaceful uses.


Join our Official Telegram Channel HERE

Please subscribe to Our podcast channel HERE

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE

Follow our Twitter Account HERE

Follow our Instagram ID HERE  .